Day 4 of Knit Crochet Blog Week and I am getting straight to the point of it…
[su_box title=”Day Four: Bags Of Fun” style=”soft” box_color=”#5a889e” radius=”5″] Time to delve into that most treasured collection of tools, notions and oddments as you are asked to spill the contents of your knitting or crochet bag, caddy or other method of organisation and put your crafting unmentionables on display. You may wish to talk about your bag of crocheting tools as a whole, or delve deep into the contents of your knitting caddy and talk about the contents each in turn.
My collection of straight knitting needles, kept in a whisky bottle tin. Doesn’t look like much of a collection, does it? That is because the vast majority of my needles are in use and are in one or another of my many WiP project bags.
It is a motley collection, collected over the last 8 years or so. I had a whole other collection in a previous life but lost custody of my knitting requisites in The Great Divorce Debacle. When I began knitting again I hastily stocked up on a full set of cheap wooden needles, via Ebay. They are not lovely, they are not long (I like to tuck) and the points are pretty much rubbish but they did have the virtue of being cheap.
I also rashly believed that as I had a full set of sizes I should never be without needles when I needed them. How was I to know that I was to become a Process Knitter, with all that that implies. I can hear your hysterical laughter from here…
Several pairs of box standard aluminium needles joined the collection in the early days of my return to knitting as these were readily acquired from the island’s shop. I even bought some horrible plastic things when I needed their length and girth. Points are not the strong-point of plastic needle. My, they are awful.
I was developing by this time a penchant for lace knitting; really tricky ultra-fine lace knitting. The kind of knitting that no sane or normal person would countenance. The needle points that I had to hand caused tears to flow at times. Three pairs of Signature needles followed. Talk about the Sublime from the Ridiculous. Signatures must surely be the best needles in the world, the veritable Rolls Royce of needles. How do I explain them to a knitter who has not used them – I think that it must be impossible to do so. There used to be an ad on the TV with the tag line “One simply knows when something is right” or words to that effect. That’s it. These Signatures are just simply right. I bought the long points for lace and they work the most tricky nupps with ease, even in gossamer weight. They cope with difficult tinking manoeuvres like a dream. They are not perfect: they won’t bend, spindle or fold, that’s for sure and they hold onto your stitches but allow them to slide where needed but (and this is a crucial but) they are not long enough to tuck!
The price of Signatures is hideous. I bought mine when they were newly started and making good offers and the Exchange Rate was in my favour. Here’s what I think – if you are young, knit a great deal and intend to do so for the rest of your life without tucking – beg, borrow or steal to get a set of Signatures. You will never regret it and they will work for you for the rest of your life. You can leave them in your will to your favourite grand-knitter and they will not only be as good as new but will still see them through their own knitterly life too.
Me however, I am old and have few knitting years left in me. I shall not be buying more Signatures, much as I should like to own some – there is really no point in my investing at this stage.
After my Signature madness, I discovered that KnitPro pretty much have the bang per buck ratio sorted. Not the best quality needles but the best quality at an affordable price, and they come in a long length of 40 cm – they have become my needle of choice. I can tuck as much as I wish.
Novas endeared themselves to me quite quickly and I found that lace knitting went well on them. The points are just sharp enough and the stitches glide effortlessly across the needles. Too effortlessly? Yes, dropped stitches were an issue. I also found the Nova’s tendency to deform a little distressing. Bad bends can be evened out and bent back with ease but perfect straightness seems to be impossible to re-establish.
I tried Symfonies and these became the Needle of Choice for a very long time. How can one fault them? They hold the stitches well enough not to lose them by accident, they have a point that deals well with lace stitches, they are strong and don’t deform. Not very cheap but neither are they unaffordable. Symfonies are definitely my “go-to” needle and will most likely remain so. I am steadily amassing a collection of all the sizes. I love it that they come in a 40 cm length. Yes, all around, just about perfect. The dark patterned wood can make stitches difficult to see and to count with some yarns though.
I thought I was suited and that Symfonies could scarcely be bettered but then came the launch of KnitPro’s carbon fibre range – the Karbonz. Once one gets over the terrible naming and examines these needles the veil is lifted. Truly a Needle Nirvana, the Karbonz feel “right” in the same way that the Signatures do. They feel reliable and functional but with a touch of luxury about them. The extra long points are wonderful for knitting lace or multiple stitch manoeuvres. No, they aren’t cheap but they are far less costly than the Signatures and, being made of Carbon Fibre, won’t deform or snap but will have great longevity.
I feel a new collection coming on and would note that any knitter could do a lot worse than to build their own collection of these wonderful needles. I am so fortunate that I can get KnitPro needles easily, and at a very good price, right here on the island.
I did intend to carry on and discuss my DPN collection but think we may save that for next year, this post is more than long enough. It would be pointless to bore you and frankly, I should rather be knitting.